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Art & History

Postcards From a Fan Who Became a Friend

As a new work by Christo and Jeanne-Claude is unveiled in Paris, a private collector who knew the artist well shares rare signed mementos.

Photo credit:

Stanley Hertzberg (right) with Christo and Jeanne-Claude

In September 1985, Christo’s “Pont Neuf Wrapped” was unveiled to the world – and Stanley Hertzberg fell in love. An American living in Paris, Stanley was awestruck by the monumental work. He searched for a way to capture even a part of the ephemeral magic that he and thousands of others had witnessed.

He decided to purchase 1,500 postcards, selecting three different views of the “Pont Neuf Wrapped.” He affixed a French stamp bearing a hand-applied postmark from the Paris Post Office for 23 September 1985, the day the work went on public view. And he sent a framed series of the postcards to Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

A year later, while being interviewed about the “Reichstag Wrapped” project, Christo said of Stanley's gesture: "There was also this incredible man in Paris who bought postcards of the “Pont Neuf Wrapped” and put French postage stamps on the front and had the post office stamp them..."

It was the start of a long, friendly relationship between Stanley and the Christos, which lasted through all the artists’ future urban projects. For the “Pont Neuf Wrapped” exhibition at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, Germany, in 1993, Christo signed 150 sets of the three “Pont Neuf Wrapped” postcards; soon after, Christo and Jeanne-Claude signed several posters of their works.

"There is no better time and place to be showing my collection,” Stanley said, “and I hope that many, like Christo and Jeanne-Claude, will enjoy this small contribution to remembering this beautiful artistic capsule in time."

From September 15 to October 3, a limited edition of 150 postcards signed by Christo and 40 posters signed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude are on sale exclusively at the Publicis Drugstore. These items are also on sale on the Publicis Drugstore online store. Stanley Hertzberg will be giving a percentage of the sales’ proceeds to the Institut Gustave Roussy for cancer research.

Learn more about the "Arc de Triomphe Wrapped" journey developed by Secret Journeys.

Stanley (right) with the Christos

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